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HER LAST WISH Chapter 73


HER LAST WISH Chapter 73

(Moremi)

Zeemah Writes 📝

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“You didn’t tell us Dammy was going through that much” Layla said.
“We. . . Couldn’t” Amina sigh.
“I don’t even know how I would have said that without feeling ashamed,” Emeka said. “Our friend is going through that much and we can’t even help, we can’t do a thing!”
“Seeing Dammy everyday breaks my heart,” Amina swallowed “It’s just crazy how she isn’t even helping matters, she’s not giving anyone the chance to help her and it’s just so painful, sometimes I just can’t help but get really angry at her” Amina’s voice broke.

“Dammy wouldn’t talk to us, even when her uncle isn’t home. Replying our greetings sometimes seems to takes up all the strength in her” Emeka said.
“Even at school, she wouldn’t say anything. Although she has stopped going to school, he made her stop and I think that’s wickedness because it’s not even like he can’t afford her school bills anymore, he’s not the one handling her school bills, the school sorts it, she’s on scholarship; being the most intelligent student in the school, she emerges the best every term. If only he didn’t stop her from going to school, Dammy will definitely be among the students shortlisted for scholarship in any higher institution of their choice” Amina said sadly.
“Gosh” Layla sigh, infuriated.
“That’s sad. But why do you think she’s refusing anyone’s help?” Dan furrowed.
“We don’t know, she won’t say anything, she won’t even talk to us.” Amina wiped her tears.
“It’s okay” Emeka patted her back.

“You guys are more familiar with this place. What do you think we can do to help, we really need to help her” Dan said.
“Yeah, this can’t keep going on. You could see it in her eyes that she needs help”
“She wants to be free of that man, she wants her friends back, you could even see it in the way she was peeping that day”

Layla got to her feet to attend to a customer and then return to her friends to resume the conversation.
They’ve been getting interrupted constantly as they were in the shop, they didn’t make Aunt Esther come to the shop today after realizing they’ve gotten the hang of sales. They had decided on their own to help her in the shop during their stay here.
A name and price tag are on each product, to make things easier for them.

“After the older ones pulled out of Dammy’s issue. We also tried everything in our power. . . Well, I wouldn’t say everything in our power but we tried in our little ways. . .” Amina almost smiled, thinking back to the silly things they did to Dammy’s uncle.
She and Emeka had once intentionally placed a banana peel on the floor so Dammy’s uncle could step on it and slip which to their greatest satisfaction; he did.
They would also hide somewhere and throw stones at him. They do get away with it until he caught them and it wasn’t a funny scenario.
He rained all sort of curses on them, threatened their parents to warn them to stop or he’s going to make sure they weep over them.

Their parents had strongly warned them not to interfere again and Emeka’s dad had even threatened to punish him thoroughly if he ever receives such complaint from Dammy’s uncle again.
It also seemed he made Dammy bear the brunt of what they did so they had to stop.
He’s so lucky to have caught them, their next plan had been to flog him terribly, wearing masks.

“What are we going to do?” Dan asked.
“I think we should talk to Dammy first” Layla said.
Amina sigh “That’s only when that unfortunate being who’s her uncle is not at home. Dammy wouldn’t say a word to you if he’s home and I bet you won’t also like to say anything to her except you want her to get punished. . .”
“And the most annoying part, he doesn’t go out often, he owns a shop with multiple workers so he goes to work whenever he wishes. He might not even go to shop in a week and the worst thing is his shop is just a street away, he does not have a closing time, he appears anytime like the He-goat he is” Emeka hissed and they chuckle.

“That’s a tough one” Dan sigh.
“Exactly” Layla agreed.
“Hm, and even if you try to approach Dammy, it’s not likely she tells you anything. Amina and I tried severally. In fact, I can’t even count the number of times we tried. She didn’t open up to we, her bestfriends, it’ll be quite hard for you guys to get her to open up”
“And that’s the only thing that will help; her speaking up” Layla said.
“What do we do then?” Amina asked.

“It shouldn’t be a hard thing to do if we do it together. I guess the more people who come together, the better” Dan said.
Layla nodded “Yeah, as long as we are all ready and willing to help”
“I’ve never been more ready” Amina said.
“We should thank you guys for refilling our hope, I don’t care if my Dad punishes me. I’m going to help Dammy.”
“Your Dad is going to punish you?” Layla raised her brow.
“Yeah, if he ever receives any complain from Dammy’s uncle. He once caught us throwing stones at him so he went to report to our parents.”
“I kind of regret the stones were small ones, we should have gone for bigger ones that would smash his skull. Wicked man” Amina hissed.
“Wow” Dan and Layla chuckled.

“My mummy said you people should lock the shop and comman eat” David said, walking into the shop.
“Dave” Layla kissed him all over the face and he giggled.
Not seeing his face for the past few hours made her kind of miss him.
“When did you wake up?” She asked.
“Not too long. My mummy was making lunch when I woke up so I helped her”
“Good,” Dan smiled “How about a piggyback ride into the house?”
“Yaaaaay!” He squealed happily and they chuckled with the speed he hopped on Dan’s back.

Dan smiled, remembering Anne. He missed his sister so much even if they speak over the phone every day.

***

“No o, you people should stay inside and rest. I can’t keep making you go to the shop, that’s not what you guys came here for” Aunt Esther said.
Dan and Layla wanted to help her stay in the shop today like they’ve done for the past two days but Aunt Esther isn’t having it.
“But we want to” Layla said.
“We like staying in your shop, I personally love selling to people” Dan added.
“Even at that, it doesn’t sit well with me.”
“Aren’t we like a family to you? Why shouldn’t it sit well with you that we’re helping you?” Layla asked.

“It’s not like that. . . It just feels like. . . I’m making you guys work too much. You didn’t come all the way from Vegas to stay in the shop every day, you came to have fun, not work. Just stay in the house, at least for today and look forward to our trip to the beach on Saturday. I’ll handle everything in the shop”
“We can as well look forward to the beach trip in the shop. Besides, we didn’t really come here with the aim of having fun. Having real fun in Nigeria is officially going to happen when we come here with Fel and Rylan. Selling to people doesn’t seem like too much work to us, we love it and it’s not like you’re forcing us, we’re doing this willingly” Dan said.

“One of the reasons I came here is to reduce your workload, I can’t watch you stress about while I just sit and definitely not in your condition. Just allow us help while we are here, please”
“You’re not allowed to do anything at least not on our watch, right Layla?”
“Exactly, now sit. You’re lucky the power is restored. Watch some movies and chill. You can come out for fresh air when NEPA decides to do their thing” Layla smiled, pulling Dan’s hand “Let’s go”
They quickly walked out after grabbing the shop key on the table, not waiting for Aunt Esther’s reply.

***

“Hi” Damilola looked nervous as she walked into Aunt Esther’s shop.

The surprise on everyone’s face was just so obvious. They were just planning how to approach her when her uncle isn’t home and then she suddenly appeared.

“You. . . Want to get something?” Layla asked, being the first person to recover from the surprise.
Well. . . Dammy has never actually said hi whenever she comes to buy something and she doesn’t even walk into the shop, she stays by the door.

“No,” She responded, looking down at her feet “I. . . Came to spend some time with you guys”
The look of surprise on their faces intensified and all they did was stare at her in disbelief. Amina and Emeka seemed the most surprised.
“I’m sorry I’ve not been responding to your greetings, I. . . It’s. . .” Damilola stammered.
“Your uncle” Dan said.
“No” Damilola lied, staring at Emeka and Amina.
“You actually do not have to lie, it’s pretty obvious your uncle doesn’t want you associating with anyone. Besides, Amina and Emeka didn’t tell us anything at first until we asked them”
“Can we not. . . mention that please?” Her eyes looked to be pleading.

“Oh, Of course, we’re sorry to have in the first place” Layla quickly said. It’s obviously talking about her uncle makes her seem uncomfortable.
“It’s fine. I was bored inside so I came here. . .You guys have been here for days now and to be honest I’ve been wanting to get to know you more. I want to be. . .your friend just like Amina and Emeka is,” She smiled meekly. and they smiled back at her.
“We want the same also” Layla said and Dan nodded.

“I know you know my name already but I should still introduce myself. I’m Damilola and it’s really nice to meet you both”
“Layla. I’m glad to finally get to talk to you”
“Same here Dammy. I’m Dan”
“Both our names start from ‘D’ No wonder I like you” Damilola chuckled.
Amina and Emeka glanced at each other; Dammy is still as playful.
“That makes us the D’s! We need to shake hands to solidify that” Dan joked and they both chuckle as they shook hands.

It’s quite surprising to Damilola they are this humble. Well, she’s never lived in the same house with white people so she doesn’t know what to expect of them… but to be honest, they really beat her expectations. Almost every one speaks about them in a very good way and the one thing that really did it for her was her friends; Amina and Emeka wouldn’t get along or spend so much time with people whose behavior sucks. At least, she knows her friends that well.

“Your uncle is not home?” Amina asked slowly, her first utterance since Damilola walked into the shop.
Damilola nodded, glancing from Amina to Emeka, her heart aching. She misses her best friends so much that it made her heart hurt, seeing them every day without being able to talk to them feels like hell and ignoring their greetings feels even worse.

Damilola who had been trying not to cry couldn’t help but burst into tears when Amina suddenly hugged her tightly, crying loudly. Emeka joined in the hug, patting their backs slowly.

Dan and Layla felt quite touched as they watched them.

***

There was a bout of laughter when Dan and Layla tried to pronounce Tuwo Shinkafa.

They were having fun discussing Nigeria meals after Damilola’s touching reconnection with her friends.
Dan and Layla getting up at interval to attend to customers didn’t even disrupt the fun they were having.

“Palm oil rice still remains the best Nigeria meal I’ve ever tasted. I love it so much” Dan said.
“I’m still struggling to choose between Palm oil rice and Amala, I’m so torn” Layla groan.

“I’m Igbo but Amala is one of my few favorite Yoruba meals.”
“It must have been a struggle for you guys, eating it for the first time” Damilola said to Dan and Layla. One of her first few utterances since she reconnected with her friends.

Dan and Layla couldn’t tell if Damilola is naturally a quiet person or she’s being that way because of what she’s going through. She looks so absorbed in her own thoughts and it’s so hard to read her with her facial expression.
They had tried to talk to her about her uncle but she didn’t want them mentioning it so they had to stop. At least, for now.

“A great struggle! The first time we had it, our hands looked all messy and we had to opt for spoon. We finally got the hang of it after several attempts” Layla said.
“David was actually right when he said his mum’s Amala would make one lick one’s plate” Dan smiled.
“Exactly! We didn’t though, we just almost did” Layla said and they chuckled.

“Mummy Dave was actually the first person I ate Amala from and it tasted really great.” Amina said.
“Most of the Yoruba meals I’ve eaten in my life, I ate it first from David’s Mum and she actually made me love it. She’s just a great cook” Emeka said.
“Exactly, She cooks so well” Amina nodded.

“I think you guys need to have a taste of other tribes’ meals. We’re going to prepare Tuwo Shinkafa tomorrow, if you don’t mind, I’m going to bring it for you” Amina smiled.
“Once my Mum also makes a very good native soup filled with assortment, I’m going to bring it for you guys. You are going to love it. Everyone knows Igbo people has the most delicious soups” Emeka smiled, indirectly teasing Amina and Damilola.
“Be whyning yourself.” Damilola said.
“Leave him o, always bragging about their meals. We know you guys have variety of soups.” Amina rolled her eyes playfully.
“Not just variety but the most delicious” Emeka grinned.
“We have heard o! Igbo guy,” Amina said, “Shut up already!” She started hitting him playfully when she saw he’s about to go on and on.
He laughed “Just joking though, every tribe has delicious meals. Meals they love and enjoy eating”
“Exactly!”

Damilola badly wished she could also give Dan and Layla something, although she knows they probably do not mind if she doesn’t but it made her feel quite bad.

“Dammy, I hope your uncle isn’t going to come back anytime soon?” Amina asked worriedly. She knows what could happen if Dammy’s uncle meets her here.
“No, he’s going to be back by evening. He got a huge contract so he has to watch over his workers properly. I’m free to be with you guys from morning till afternoon at least for a week” Damilola smiled.
“Yaaay!!” Amina hugged her happily.
“At least you’ll get to spend time with us for a week before the bald he-goat starts smelling everywhere again” Emeka hissed.

They laugh and Damilola couldn’t help but join in.

A pain sharper than a rapier suddenly seared through Layla’s chest. She gasped but the ongoing laughter didn’t make her friends hear her.
It took every ounce of willpower not to cry out at the agony the pain caused.

“I’ll be back” She quickly got to her feet amidst the pain she was feeling and walked out of the shop not waiting to see if they heard her or not.

Her legs felt so weary by the time she got to the door, sudden fatigue enveloping her.
She dragged her seemingly heavy legs into the apartment and has never been more glad to see her Aunt doze off on the couch.
She held things for support as she slowly walked into the room.
After finally succeeding in getting on the bed, breathing fast and heavily like she just finished a race.
She tried to steady her disarray mind so she could think but her mind wasn’t occupying a thought, it went blank.

Her eyes closed slowly and she fell into a deep sleep.

……………..

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